Powering Through: Tech Investments Keep Specialty Contractors Going

START DATE:11/18/2020

Start Time:2:00 PM EST

Duration:60 minutes


MEP contractors and other small firms’ investments in prefabrication, cloud collaboration, and other digital technologies have positioned them well to spin back up once the economy starts to reopen and recover. Throughout the pandemic, contractors have discovered new ways to work remotely on projects.

During this webinar, these small & agile firms will show how their technology investments let them keep on target through 2020 and rethink business practices that were holding them back.

The content of this webinar is produced and directed by ENR's editorial team.

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Ben Bunge

Senior Project Manager

The Weitz Company

As senior project manager with The Weitz Company, Ben Bunge is responsible for leading projects to successful completion by overseeing the project team, ensuring project efficiency and exceeding customer expectations. His 13-year career at Weitz has been filled with unique and complex projects that have required strong Lean disciplines, innovative solutions, advanced technologies and extreme collaboration. His recent management of a flagship, 330-room Hilton Hotel in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, featured 12 modular design components that increased value for the client and led to an early completion. Ben believes upfront planning, collaborative engagement with designers and trade partners, the Last Planner System® and great team chemistry are keys factors that enable project success.

Brian Helm


Helm Group

Brian Helm is the CEO of the Helm Group, one of the largest specialty contractors in the Midwest. He has been CEO since 2010 and mechanical sector president since 2001. In that time, the company has grown to over 1,000 employees and $300 million in annual revenue. The Freeport, Illinois-based company is known for delivering value to its customers in the transportation, healthcare, industrial, education, aquatic, mission critical, energy, and wastewater treatment sectors. The company employs engineers, pipefitters, plumbers, sheet metal workers, operators, carpenters, iron workers, cement finishers, laborers, electricians, controls technicians, virtual design technicians, and management staff. Brian also serves as the president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and a past president of the Chicago MCA. He volunteers on the boards of many charitable organizations and is active in the Young Presidents Association. He holds engineering degrees from Duke University and Georgia Tech and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Illinois. On a personal note, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife, Kari, and their three children, Lily, Charlie, and Chase. When he and Kari are not attending the kids’ various tennis and cross country events, the family enjoys skiing, boating, and playing board games.

Peter Granlund

Sheet Metal Design Manager

J. F. Ahern

As Sheet Metal Design Manager, Granlund is responsible for creating HVAC coordination and fabrication drawings that conform to specifications. Other duties include reviewing all equipment submittals for conformance to project requirements, preparing RFIs, field surveys when required, and coordination with other trades to avoid installation conflicts. Coordinate shop fabrication and delivery with Field Foreman and job schedule. Along with his duties as a Sheet Metal Design Coordinator, he also manages the Autodesk Fabrication Software. This is the software that Ahern uses to design, estimate, and fabricate mechanical and plumbing systems.

John Ransom

Construction Sales Manager

J. F. Ahern

As Construction Sales Manager, Ransom, is responsible for managing and overseeing all aspects of preconstruction and construction activity from conceptual estimating through design and construction. He joined the company in May 1991 as an Assistant Project Manager. He was promoted to Project Manager in September 1994, Department Manager in 1998, Department Vice President in 2005, and Commercial Estimating Vice President in 2008.

Jeff Yoders

Editor, ENR Midwest

Engineering News-Record



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